Leslie Jones established Leslie Jones & Associates in 1992 as a full service interior design firm that specializes in the design of residential and commercial spaces. Leslie and her team have donated time, talent, and resources to more than a dozen organizations, including environmental causes such as Chicago Botanic Garden, National Parks Conservation Association, and the National Geographic Society. In addition to Openlands, Leslie serves on the Dean’s Council at the University of Michigan and on an Ad Hoc Committee of the Grand Teton National Park Foundation.
“I saw the benefit of transforming land when I did it myself,” says Leslie, referring to the fifteen acres of former farmland, ravines, and woodland she owns in southwestern Michigan, where she has worked to restore native prairie habitat. “I had been looking for a way to get more involved in conservation, and Openlands seemed like a wonderful fit. It is a very important organization for Chicago, and it is gaining momentum. The idea of nature in the city and thinking holistically about the environment is vitally important. I am very interested in Space to Grow and Openlands’ community garden work. This work in schoolyards and communities in the city is a good place to expand my understanding of Openlands.”
Asked about her favorite places to get outside in the Chicago region, Leslie says that the bike trail corridors of the North Shore are among her favorites. “I also love the Openlands Lakeshore Preserve in Highwood and the Heller Nature Preserve.” In addition to her restoration work in Michigan, Leslie is an avid vegetable gardener and is a beekeeper at her home in Winnetka.